November 20, 2012
St Hugh's, St Andrew hunt netball final spots
Raymond Graham, STAR Writer
DEFENDING junior champions St Hugh's High and senior champions St Andrew High will be among the favourites to reach the final for another year when the semi-finals of the ISSA Corporate Area Schoolgirl Netball Competition are played tomorrow at the Leila Robinson Courts.
The junior competition begins at 1 p.m. with St Hugh's going up against Camperdown High and The Queen's School battling first-timers Norman Manley High. In the senior semi-final at 2 p.m. it will be St Andrew High versus St Hugh's and The Queen's meeting St Catherine High.
Yesterday, in two senior rescheduled matches, former champions St Hugh's confirmed their second place in Group 1 behind St Catherine, after an easy 37-18 win over St Jago. In the other game, despite resting most of their top players, St Catherine High remained unbeaten to top the group after destroying Mona 47-18.
St Andrew High's coach Jennifer 'Shaggy' Brown is very confident of victory tomorrow.
"I know playing St Hugh's will be a tight match as they have been champions before and they know how to win. At this moment, I am working on the mental aspect of the girls to get them in the right frame of mind, as we want to get it right from the first whistle, and once we get in front early, it will be hard for them to get back," said Brown .
Despite losing to St Catherine High a week ago, St Hugh's coach Roy Pryce is oozing with confidence.
"We are coming out to win, and although they are the defending champions, we have no fear. We have a few things to work on in training to correct after losing to St Catherine recently," said a confident Pryce.
The Queen's/St Catherine High encounter will be close. After starting as the preseason favourites, the Marvette Anderson-coached Queen's team were beaten by St Andrew High two weeks ago. On the other hand, the Phyllis Thompson-coached St Catherine High team which lost in the final to St Andrew High last year are unbeaten so far and have been playing great netball all season.
Anderson was away on national duties with the senior Sunshine Girls team in New Zealand recently, and is ready to get things right once again.
"While I was away, the girls did not adjust properly. However, they are determined to get it right tomorrow, as they are upbeat and ready to go," said Anderson.
After losing in the finals last year, coach Thompson is very optimistic that St Catherine High will win tomorrow and then go one step further by lifting the title this time around.
"The team is progressing well and we are expecting to come out with a victory tomorrow," said Thompson.
Former champions Queen's should get the better of first timers Norman Manley High in their junior encounter, but coach Anderson is not taking anything for granted.
"No game is easy, and everybody wants to win and go to the final, so we are not underestimating Norman Manley," said Anderson.
After being the most impressive junior team all season, St Hugh's are favoured to win tomorrow over Camperdown and book another final spot.
The winners of both the junior and senior semi-finals will advance to Friday's finals at the same venue.